Ethical Leadership Programme

Priory 6 and Trusted Friends.

Ljilja Vincic is one of three Priory pupils participating in the Ethical Leadership programme.  They are involved in designing projects which will recognise and develop their leadership qualities and skills for life.  The Ethical Leadership Programme is a student-focused qualification designed to recognise character skills and leadership qualities, while enabling the development of ethical awareness.

Ljilja has designed a programme entitled ‘The Trusted Friends Programme’ and has also produced a handbook to accompany the programme.  What is The Trusted Friends Programme?  Ljilja explains:

‘The Trusted Friends Programme is a peer-run pastoral care network,  an idea developed with the aim of giving girls at St Augustine’s Priory another form of support, one where girls who are worried about raising issues with safeguarding staff can talk to other students about problems big or small.

The benefit of The Trusted Friends Programme (who will be Priory 6 pupils) is that the mentees  will be able to speak to Trusted Friends who may have gone through similar ordeals.

It is not a programme to replace staff support but rather a programme which helps filter student issues making sure those who need further support can get it whilst ensuring all problems are heard no matter the size.  The Trusted Friends team would work closely with safeguarding officers and members of staff in order to reach as many pupils as possible.’

Ljilja goes on to describe the qualities needed in a trusted friend, such as being a good communicator and a good listener and that training will be needed to become a trusted friend.

Trusted Friends are not teachers or counsellors or social workers but are, as it says on the tin, a trusted friend.

Ljilja has thought carefully about The Trusted Friends Programme including what the trusted friends may or may not do, the training and support they will need, the safeguarding implications and the structure of the programme.

The programme sets out to help tackle the rise in teen mental health problems by ‘creating an atmosphere where students are encouraged to share their concerns in a safe and supportive environment before they become overwhelming’.

This is an impressive initiative and we look forward to its presentation and development.  Congratulations, Ljilja on such an initiative.